Natl Guard and Senator Tester Want More Buckets
The Montana National Guard was called out several times to help fight forest fires this year in the state. Over a million acres burned at a cost of $44 million in damages.
However, U.S. Senator Jon Tester said this week that the severe fire season "pushed the Montana National Guard firefighting equipment to its limit."
If a similar fire season happens, the guard could be forced to borrow large firefighting buckets from other states, officials say.
Senator Tester has added his voice to a request for more equipment for the Montana Guard. Seven buckets are needed - two for the CH-47 helicopters and five for the UH-60 helicopters. The buckets would come from the National guard Bureau.
The equipment would be used on wildfires and also to control fires on federal military training areas.